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    Using Magic for Personal Gain

    One of the first cautionary warnings that people new to the magical life seem to stumble upon is the idea that magic shouldn’t be used for personal gain. There doesn’t seem to be any clear-cut precedent for where this mandate came from, and in fact not all magical traditions follow it. To do magic is, after all, to express your…

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    The New Moon: Get Rejuvenated!

    For a lot of us, the period of the New Moon – a time in which the moon is dark and cannot be seen – is a fallow phase. It’s when we recuperate and regroup, on a magical and spiritual level. Getting Yourself Back In Order Depending on how actively magical a life you lead, you may find yourself needing…

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    Saturday Spellwork: Get Your Mojo Back

    We’ve all experienced it – especially those of us who work in a creative field like writing, art, music, and so forth. Sometimes, the muse just goes away. Whether it’s writer’s block or whatever, we occasionally feel like we JUST CAN’T EVEN, because we’re not motivated, we question our skills, or we have lost our mojo. This spell is designed…

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    Are You Ready to Be a Pagan Teacher?

    At some point in your spiritual journey, you may feel that you’ve learned enough to share your knowledge with others. Perhaps other people have approached you and asked you to teach a class or lead a group. It’s indeed possible that your life experience and studying has put you in a position where you can take on this responsibility. Perhaps…

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    Gerald Gardner and the Ardanes

    In the 1950s, when Gerald Gardner was writing what eventually become the Gardnerian Book of Shadows, one of the items he included was a list of guidelines called the Ardanes. The word “ardane” is a variant on “ordain,” or law. Gardner claimed that the Ardanes were ancient knowledge that had been passed down to him by way of the New…

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    Sacred Springs and Holy Wells

    At Litha, or Midsummer, the sun is entering the astrological house of Cancer, which is a water sign. In many traditions, this time of year is associated not just with fire, but with water as well — rivers, streams, springs, and so on. Image of the Well of Kildare by William Murphy / Flickr / Creative Commons (CC-BY-SA 2.0) In…

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    Book Review: Wicca, Plain & Simple

    I periodically open my mailbox and find copies of nifty stuff from publishers asking me to review new and upcoming titles. A lot of times I don’t get a chance to do it, because I’m writing my own stuff, and I have a personal policy of never reviewing someone else’s material when I’m working my own. However, right now I’m…